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Oregon Vacation

Decatur, IL
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Oregon Vacation

We are planning an April vacation in Oregon - emphasis on photography. I would like to see the coast, Columbia River Gorge, and part of Willamette valley. Is this too ambitious a schedule for a 7 or 8 day trip? We don't want to spend all our time on the road but don't mind driving a few hours each day.

Lona

Oregon
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1. Re: Oregon Vacation

That is not too ambitious. You might even add Mt St Helens. though in April not certain what would be open.

You could do Gorge, then Mt St Helens then Astoria and then south on Coast as far as Florence. then back to Portland through Willamette Valley. but skip I-5 and see Valley. McMinnville good stop with Evergreen Air Museum and several wineries.

I could say a lot more about coast, but maybe you have already researched. Astoria and Newport my two favorite towns on coast

Edited: 26 December 2011, 23:11
Decatur, IL
13 posts
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2. Re: Oregon Vacation

Thanks for the information. I am just starting to do research on this trip. We haven't yet settled on the time of year yet, but thinking late April or early May. Would you recommend making the drive down the coast as far as Bandon?

Oregon
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3. Re: Oregon Vacation

Best time to visit Oregon is Sept. Most of high country still open. but assuming you want spring and the coast Apr or May ok.

Bandon is great little town, but drive along coast from N Bend to Bandon not great, and Bandon to Port Orford not great but Port Orford to Brookings is our best.

However Depoe Bay to Florence also quite good.

Also both Astoria and Newport have more to see/do than Bandon or Cannon Beach

Decatur, IL
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4. Re: Oregon Vacation

Thanks, That is helpful. Early September would be an option. We just want to avoid the summer months. Does it get rainier in September? When does fall color begin inthe mountains?

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Oregon Vacation

mid-September/October/November is autumn in the CRGNSA. You will be able to catch fish returning to spawn in Multnomah Creek below the waterfall. Some awfully beautiful photo ops then.

MrsO

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Oregon Vacation

weather tends to be more predictable less rainy in Sept and even early Oct. than spring time- summer doesnt 'officially' start until July 5th...

Fall color can be variable, but you can go to the elevation of where it is changing- although since there is lots of evergreens, the fall colors tend to be a bit more subtle.

Another place you might like on the east side of the willamette valley is silver falls state park and Silverton...

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: Oregon Vacation

The coast will be raining in April and even May. Pretty much guaranteed, although not every day. Much of May can be very grey with flat light - it has been for the last two (or maybe three) years in a row.

September is more reliable in terms of dry weather and the chances of a glorious sunset are much greater. Labor Day is swamped with crowds of course.

Decatur, IL
13 posts
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8. Re: Oregon Vacation

Thanks for your responses! I am becoming convinced that September is the best bet - maybe the week after Labor Day. We have never traveled to Oregon, but have vacationed in B. C., Colorado and Yellowstone in September and the weather was delightful.

Decatur, IL
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9. Re: Oregon Vacation

Do you have any recommendations on locations for lodging and

how many days to allocate to the Columbia River Gorge vs the coast? We will have 6 nights divide between these two locations. We will probably lodge in Portland the night before we fly out, and also stay in Willamette valley one night.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Oregon Vacation

My hubs and I volunteer at Multnomah Falls in the Visitor information center and I can honestly say that many people stay for their whole two week vacation every year in the Gorge. This Gorge runs on both sides, Washington and Oregon.

But that said many on this forum have chastised me and said 1-2 days is enough.

If you want photography, there may be a little hiking involved, there are so many places in the Gorge that are photographic, sunsets, sunrises, clear skies, even misty skies. There is a National Hawk Organization up off of highway 35 going toward Mt. Hood on FS road 48 where you can watch them catch birds of prey and after they check and band them they will let you release them back. I think you may get some good pictures there. Not the norm.

You can get an idea of the area if you look at www.nwhiker.com. It shows the hikes in the area. You can click on a hike and there are series of pictures that you can enlarge and reduce to show you an idea of what you will see. If you go to the 7 miles up Larch Mountain, you will have a short hike to see all the mountain ranges in the area.

This program shows Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. It has road conditions, length of hikes, difficulty of hikes and features you will see on them. Click along the Oregon Washington border and you will find the Gorge.

Have fun planning.

MrsO